Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The New Capital Grille, Boston

We were recently guests of the new Capital Grille on Boylston Street for lunch. This new location is far more brighter, opened-up and airier than the previous Newbury Street location and a great spot to enjoy a leisurely, high end mid-day meal.

Although the design retains the signature look of an exclusive, old-world, private club there are tributes to Bostonia such as this life size portrait of legendary Celtics Coach Red Auerbach.

We like to think that this giant brass eagle that dominates the view of the open kitchen is a not-so-subtle nod toward Boston College.

Our freshly squeezed mint lemonades were brought to the table in what seemed like seconds after ordering them. A large basket of still-warm rolls and flat crisps followed.

My dining companion for lunch was University of Massachusetts student and Future Chefs alumni Luis Colon. We ordered the Plates menu, which includes soup and/or salad, a sandwich and a side, all for $15.00. Considering you could spend that at a food truck for lunch, the value for such luxurious surroundings and impeccable service was unbeatable.

Luis began with the Clam Chowder, thick and creamy with lots of clams, it was right up there with all of the other great chowders in Boston but it's hard to be a standout in New England with Clam Chowder.

My Porcini Bisque, however, was notable and, after a taste, Luis even commented that he wished he'd ordered it for himself.

For sandwiches, first up was the Mini Tenderloin. Perfectly medium, seasoned well and on a fresh roll, it was very, very nice.

For his side Luis ordered the Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry Chutney, a glittering plate of classic Fall flavor.

I went with the Lobster Roll, which was rather generous for the price point, meaty, lightly dressed on a toasted roll. Very nice, as lobster rolls go and, again, unbeatable value.

My side was Truffle Fries. Luis had never tasted truffles before and I found it a challenge to describe the flavor: maybe a cross between a mushroom and an onion? In any case, he was an immediate fan. How can one not like Truffle Fries? I often find that young people (at least in my extended family) are not the most adventurous of eaters so I was quite enthusiastic about this. You don't really know what you like in food until you try it.

We finished our meal by sharing the Seasonal Berries in Vanilla Cream. As you can see, we could not even wait to take the presentation photo to dig into this. Again, a classic way to end a wonderful lunch. Very nice.

After lunch we had a private tour from our host Sabrina Monteiro. There are several function rooms that easily accommodate 20 or more for special events and business meetings.

This single, private table surrounded by a sheer drape at the very front of the house was the one that caught our eye, however. A definite see and be seen dining experience.

The private wine lockers also caught our eye, many already claimed by local residents and corporations and awaiting their engraved brass plaques. What a great way to showcase your name or brand.

Overall rating: classic, low key elegance, superlative service, good food and the Plates menu is the best value power lunch you can find in Boston, hands down. Impressive.

The Capital Grille
Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02115
Telephone: 617.262.9449

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